Archive for September 17th, 2008

“Free MP Teresa Kok Parliamentary Caucus” formed

The “Free MP Teresa Parliamentary Caucus” was formed in Parliament this evening with the support MPs of the three Pakatan Rakyat parties and the just-resigned Minister for Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

The Caucus’ immediate agenda includes:

• Seek the support of Parliamentarians in ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for the immediate and unconditional release of MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok from Internal Security Act (ISA).

• A meeting with the Deputy Inspector-General of Police on Teresa Kok’s detention and her condition of incarceration and health concerns.

• Visit of Teresa Kok.

• Motion for urgent debate on Teresa’s ISA detention when Parliament reconvenes on October 13, 2008.

Although the release of Teresa Kok from ISA detention is the immediate objective for the setting up of the caucus, MPs who attended its inaugural meeting are agreed that the Caucus should also work for the releasse of Raja Petra Kamarauddin, the Hindraf Five and all other ISA detainees as well as for the repeal of the detention-without-trial ISA.

Officials of the “Free MP Teresa Kok Parliamentary Caucus” appointed today are:

Joint Chairmen –
Lim Kit Siang – Ipoh Timor
Mohamed Azmin Ali – Gombak
Kamaruddin Jaffar – Tumpat Read the rest of this entry »


Zaid’s resignation “last nail in the coffin” of Abdullah’s repeat of reform pledges after March 8 “political tsunami”

Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s announcement this morning that his decision to resign as Minister in the Prime Minister’s DepAartment is final despite being advised by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to reconsider the move is the “last nail in the coffin” of Abdullah’s repeat of reform pledges after the March 8 “political tsunami”.

It is clear that the detentions of DAP MP for Seputeh and Selangor Senior Exco Teresa Kok and Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the nefarious and iniquitous Internal Security Act (ISA) were the last straw causing Zaid to submit his resignation after a six-month stint in the Cabinet, making him the only Minister in the nation’s history to resign on a matter of principle.

When Zaid was surprisingly appointed by Abdullah to be a Minister after the Barisan Nasional debacle in the March general election, it was clear that Zaid had a special agenda – to retrieve Abdullah’s credibility and legitimacy as a Reform Prime Minister by carrying out reforms in the important sectors of the judiciary, the police and anti-corruption.

Zaid’s resignation is an admission that Abdullah’s repeat pledge of the reform programme after the March political tsunami has come to the end of the road, that: Read the rest of this entry »


“916” symbolised the yearnings of Sabahans for a new Malaysia where they enjoy full citizenship status and benefits as Malaysians

“916” this year has added significance, as it marks not only Malaysia Day but also the yearnings of Sabahans for a new Malaysia where they enjoy full citizenship status and benefits as Malaysians.

In the past 45 years, Sabahans have been denied their full citizenship rights – which is symbolised most vividly by the government failure to declare Malaysia Day on September 16 as a national public holiday.

After 45 years, Sabah’s problems are more than a basketful.

Sabah is a rich state with vast natural resources but the people of Sabah have been denied an equitable share of the wealth of the state.

Not only hard-core poverty, but poverty, should have been eradicated in Sabah by now. Instead, poverty in Sabah is the worst in the country.

Last year, I raised in Parliament the tragedy of the suicide of a 11-year-old Dusun boy from Kinarut, Donny John Dion, because of acute and desperate poverty of his family by hanging himself at home at Kampung Suangon in the Papar parliamentary constituency.

It is a state and national disgrace that in the 21st century, 11-year-old Donny could be driven to suicide because of the poverty and deprivation suffered by his family 45 years after the birth of Malaysia.

The Sabah Chief Minister should have resigned in shame and disgrace at a scandal like Donny’s suicide but there had neither been moral stirrings nor sense of responsibility by any of the Barisan Nasional leaders whether at state or national level for Donny’s tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »


No national-level celebration of Malaysia Day 2008 – PM and Cabinet apology warranted

The first item of business in the Cabinet meeting tomorrow should be an apology from the Prime Minister and the Cabinet for no national-level celebration of Malaysia Day 2008 today, September 16, to commemorate the day 45 years ago when Malaysia was born.

If Pakatan Rakyat could celebrate May Day with a 20,000-people rally at the Kelana Jaya Stadium last night, when the Pakatan Rakyat is still the Opposition at the national level, there can be no acceptable reason why unlike in previous years, the Barisan Nasional federal government has failed to organise nation-wide celebration on September 16 today as Malaysia Day this year.

There is no more eloquent reminder to Malaysians, particularly the people of Sabah and Sarawak, than the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s failure to hold nation-wide celebrations for Malaysia Day this year, that Sabah and Sarawak have yet to be fully accepted and recognised as an integral part of Malaysian nation-building and developmental process.

After the March 8 “political tsunami”, it belatedly dawned on the Prime Minister as well as on Barisan Nasional politicians in Sabah and Sarawak that the BN MPs in the two states occupy a strategic “kingmaker” role determining the survival of Umno hegemony and Barisan Nasional federal government.

The Barisan Nasional suffered a severe thrashing in the March 8 general election, winning 140 seats against the Pakatan Rakyat’s 82. However, 54 of these BN parliamentary seats come from Sabah and Sarawak – Sabah 24 and Sarawak 30.

Without these 54 BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak, BN would be reduced to 86 seats out of 222 MPs in Parliament, evicting the BN from Putrajaya and into the Opposition.

But what is the use of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Razak flying almost every week from the federal capital to Sabah and Sarawak when this unprecedented strategic “kingmaker” role of BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak dawned after the March 8 “political tsunami”, promising new billion-ringgit development allocations and plum offices to Sabah and Sarawak politicians, if the federal government is not prepared to accord proper respect and recognition to September 16 every year as Malaysia Day! Read the rest of this entry »